Double names can be a pain

Published 2:37 am Wednesday, May 4, 2005

By Staff
I meant to write this a long time ago, but it seemed appropriate after my brother and his wife welcomed a new baby girl into their home two weeks ago that I write this column now.
While he won't admit it, I believe my brother began his quest for a baby name as a joke. It began when he told his wife he wanted to find the female derivative of his name. While the sex of the child was unknown, there was a little bit of tension between the two as to what to call the baby. Both had lists and both are very stubborn. I told him he just needed to give his child a double name if they couldn't decide on just one name. He told me that a double name would be too long and hard for people to remember. I nodded in agreement because I knew he was right.
While having a double name (mine by the way is hyphenated) is unique, it has been quite a burden. Most people do not realize this, but I have a middle name also. I have four names in total. I always introduce myself as Mary-Allison Lancaster. However, a majority of people always cut off the Allison, and call me Mary. Why, I ask myself, would I bother saying my whole name if that's not what I wanted to be called? I have yet to run into somebody that introduces themselves with their middle name included. It irks me a bit, and I believe I'm speaking on behalf of all the other double-named citizens in the world that it irks them too.
If someone is to introduce themselves to me as John, I wouldn't call him Joe.
I went to school with a lot of double named kids, but for some reason my name seems the hardest to remember. You would think that Ann Chandler, or John Wade, even my best friend's name Mary Elizabeth (who by the way prefers to be called Mary) would be harder to remember than my name, but that's what I get for thinking.
As I get older and begin to think about what I would call my child, I have the urge to give him or her a double name. But then I wonder why would I want to put my child through that? Never mind having a unique name, somebody's just going to botch it up.
I still remember giving my name to the hostess at a restaurant and how badly she messed my name up. After waiting awhile, I looked at the list, only to find she had written down Murry Ellis Lanchester. Go figure.
So, to all the double-named people in the world it's great to be part of such a small community. Keep the tradition going because eventually, everyone will catch on to what your name really is supposed to be.
Mary-Allison Lancaster is tmanaging editor of The Brewton Standard. She can be reached at 867-4876 or